- PhD Candidate - Education (Monash University)
- Master of TESOL (Monash University)
Mohammad Haider saw first-hand many of the challenges that affect the development of teachers in Bangladesh. Having worked at various levels of the public education sector in Bangladesh, he now strives to implement positive changes for teachers’ professional development.
After completing his Master’s degree in English Literature in Bangladesh, Haider gained experience working as an English teacher. He then became a teacher trainer, and took on a range of education-related projects as a government employee.
In 2001 Haider was awarded an AusAID scholarship to study a Master’s degree in Teaching English To Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Monash. Setting foot on Clayton campus for the first time, Haider says it was, “Love at first sight.”
During his Master’s degree, Haider enthusiastically took part in many of the activities offered by clubs and societies, including the Monash Student Association (MSA) and the Monash Postgraduate Association (MPA). He saw the range of clubs for international students on campus, but noticed there was no club for Bangladeshi students, so became a Founder and President of the Bangladesh Student Association. Outside of his extra-curricular activities, Haider enjoyed taking in the hustle and bustle of the Clayton campus centre and libraries.
“Because Australia is less populated than my country, I feel like I don’t see many people around so I come down to campus centre just to see people…everyone is so friendly.”
After completing his Master’s degree, Haider returned to Bangladesh to work in government. Mohammad says he has worked with over 4000 teachers from both rural and urban settings in his time as a teacher trainer. Speaking with teachers, he began to realise many of the challenges they must contend with on a daily basis. However, Haider wanted a deeper academic understanding of these issues.
“The day I left Monash I told myself, ‘I’m going to come back one day. And if I’m going to do my PhD, I’ll do it here at Monash.’ ”
His prediction came true, and ten years after graduating from his Master’s in TESOL, Haider returned to Australia to begin his PhD at Monash.
Haider’s research is focused on issues that affect the development of teachers in the context of Bangladesh. His research is framed around a model incorporating 10 different resources that are likely to enhance teacher development. This includes a focus on the issues that disproportionately affect women, such as the lack of access to professional development opportunities.
Soon Haider will complete his PhD and return to Bangladesh. While Haider loves his life in Australia, he feels his skills are better utilised in his home country.
“I have a much more vibrant context in Bangladesh to intervene and to apply my ideas. Here in Australia, it’s already developed,” he says.
“I ask myself, ‘How am I going to contribute to this society? How can we bring about positive changes?’ ”
We wish Haider the best of luck with his career. His passion and expertise are sure to inspire much-needed change.